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Why you might want to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease – Press Telegram

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. It is time to raise our collective awareness of Alzheimer’s disease with a view to influencing healthy habits, behaviors, and ongoing research.

Let’s start with a little history and a definition.

The disease is named after him Dr. Alois Alzheimer. In 1906, he had a patient with symptoms of memory loss, language problems, and unpredictable behavior. After she died, he examined her brain and found abnormal lumps and bundles of tangled fibers. Today these abnormalities are called amyloid plaques and tangles; they are still considered major features of the disease. An additional feature of Alzheimer’s disease is the loss of connection between the neurons in the brain which are important because they transmit messages between different parts of the brain and then to the muscles and organs.

The disease is a progressive neurological disorder which causes the brain to shrink and brain cells to die. Since the disease is progressive, individuals experience a continuous decline in their ability to think, a decline in their social and behavioral skills, and ultimately their ability to function independently.

In 2022, a there are an estimated 6.5 million people in the United States 65 years or older live with the disease, which is about one in nine Americans in that age group. By 2025, that 65-year-old or older segment will grow as baby boomers age from 6.5 million to 7.2 million. And by 2060, it is estimated that 13.8 million people will suffer Alzheimer’s disease except for medical advances.

Check your level of awareness by completing the following true-false questionnaire.

Q. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

True. O Mayo Clinic Reports treatments that temporarily improve the symptoms of memory loss and problems with thinking and reasoning are available. However, these treatments do not stop the decline and death of brain cells.

Q. Scientists know the cause of Alzheimer’s disease.

False. In general, scientists agree that there is no single cause. It’s probably a combination of genetics, environmental influences, and lifestyle. From a basic scientific perspective, scientists think that the disease is caused by the abnormal accumulation of protein in and around the brain. It is not clear why this is happening.

Q. Age is the biggest risk factor for the disease.

True. O The greatest risk factor for late onset disease is age. Among those over the age of 85, 33.2 percent have Alzheimer’s disease. The aging baby boomers will only increase that percentage. To a lesser extent, other risk factors include genetics, environment, and lifestyle.

Q. Dementia is one of the most expensive conditions for society.

True. In 2022, full payment for all people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias it is estimated at $ 321 billion, which excludes informal care. Medicare and Medicaid are expected to cover 64 percent of the total cost; The costs in your pocket are expected to be $ 81 billion, or 25 percent of your total payments.

Q. Alzheimer’s disease is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States

False. Alzheimer’s disease is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. O the first three are heart disease, cancer, and Covid-19 followed by accidents, strokes, chronic diseases of the lower respiratory tract and then Alzheimer’s disease.

Q. Dementia is another name for Alzheimer’s disease.

False. Dementia it is not a single disease. It is a general term used for memory loss and other cognitive abilities that interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease, the most prevalent, accounts for between 60 and 80 percent of dementia cases. Dementia also includes vascular, Lewy body dementia and more.

Q. Most care is provided by healthcare professionals.

False. Almost half of caregivers (48 percent) is provided by over 11 million family and friends, equivalent to $ 270 billion and 16 billion hours of informal care. That’s about half of Walmart’s total revenue in 2020 and 14 times McDonald’s total revenue in the same year.

Given what we know, what can we do? Although the research is not conclusive, the literature offers several unsecured suggestions.

Recommendations include regular exercise and what is called heart health nutrition – limiting saturated fats and sugar intake, and eating plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains instead. Then stay connected socially, engage in intellectual activity, and try to avoid head trauma such as those involving falls.

Let us all raise our awareness of this disease by caring for and helping in every way possible the millions of caregivers who support and care for those who suffer from all forms of dementia.

Be kind to everyone and be kind to yourself and others.

Helen Dennis is a nationally recognized leader in aging and new retirement with academic, corporate, non-profit experience. Contact Helen with your questions and comments at Helendenn@gmail.com. Visit Helen at HelenMdennis.com and follow her on facebook.com/SuccessfulAgingCommunity

Why you might want to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease – Press Telegram Source link Why you might want to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease – Press Telegram

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